Who picked this film? I start to suspect that there is a subversive soul manning the controls at Seda va Sima, AKA the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. It is way too easy to play with the film, to draw comparisons to what is happening in real life. There are the overt Mousavi themes: the unwanted quest and the risking of life in pursuit of an unanticipated destiny. Then there is the sly nod to Ahmadinejad. Iranian films are dubbed (forget the wretched dubbing into English in the U.S., in Iran dubbing is a craft) and there are plenty of references to kootoole, little person, the Farsi word used in the movie for Hobbit and Dwarf. Kootoole, of course, was, is, the term used in many of the chants out on the street against President Ahmadinejad. He is the “little person.” (“And whose side are you on?” Pippin asks the ancient, forest-dwelling giant named Treebeard. Those watching might think the answer is Mousavi, since Treebeard is decked out in green.)
The 9-year old in the room loudly predicts that the “Lord of the Rings” marathon will put an end to the nightly shouts of “Allah Akbar” from Tehran’s rooftops. People will not take to the roofs and windows because these films will keep them occupied. Besides, there is a dubious rumor going around that the basij are marking the doorways of those households that continue to call out “Allah Akbar!” at night, a kind reverse Passover. Fear, as well as Tolkien, will no doubt play a part.